A candle was lit by anne hess
on October 4, 2013 11:21 AM
Joan was--and will remain, in all our loving memories-- a BraveHeart woman. She was STRONG! During the years we helped another great woman, Marian Kirkland, I had constant proof of her strength and love. We are better for knowing her as friend. I lost touch with Joan in recent years; I went to Florida for a kidney transplant. But I will be at her memorial service. I am in NY because my sister's memorial service was on Sept 15th. Love to all Joan's family.
Message from jane hipschman curty
September 30, 2013 8:56 PM
To begin I would like to tell you how sorry I was to hear of your mom's passing. My thoughts and prayers are with your family.
Where to start... I remember your mom as a strong and very capable woman. Not the best housekeeper or dresser, but as a powerful influence on those who dealt with her. I always remember her helping, sharing and being of assistance. And when I think of her I also think of her group of friends, Betty Carter, Grace, others whose names I have forgotten and oh yes, my mother Mary Hipschman. These women were dedicated to a cause and stood by each other in times of hardship and triumphs. They, I believe, were trailblazers. I think each truly had a deep and affection love for each other. And their friendships sustained each other in the 50's and beyond.
Another aspect of Joan that I remember clearly is how welcoming and interesting she was. As a girl, I spent many a day, weekend, or overnight at your home. My sister, Rose Mary always needed special care and Joan was always there to lend a hand, listen to my mom's concerns and entertain me. On those days and sometimes nights, she taught me the love of books, the "Madeline" series and "A Big Ball of String" were two of my favourites. She had patience when she taught me how to sew, on Jewish holidays she and your dad taught me the traditions of a Jewish family. I remember the chicken coops out back that were too dangerous to explore, but we did anyway, there was a huge apple tree that we climbed, wild flowers that bloomed and were picked for bouquets. The back playroom where we all played with some of the best toys. There was a huge tub where "Rena" and I took baths together. Joan helped my mom to be a great mom, because she was able to take care Rose Mary which allowed my mom and me some one-on-one time. She was wonderful, not perfect, but wonderful.
After my mom passed I only saw your Miss Joan occasionally. But we were always in touch over the years with cards, phone calls and when possible a visit. I am so very grateful for your mom's wisdom, understanding and upfront manner. As a girl, I had a vision of my mother being perfect, everyone always told me how wonderful she was, but the only person to tell me of her flaws, was her best friend ... your mom, Joan. As a woman who needed to know her mom, your mom gave me that gift. She helped me to see my mother as a real person, not the one that I had put on a pedastal and worshipped, but the one that became more "real" to me because of all the honest stories, good and not so good, that your mom shared with me.
She helped me understand aspects of my mom's death. I had always held a grudge towards my grandmother because grandma would not let me say goodbye on the night she died. Joan gave me a huge gift by sharing the story of that night. No one else thought it important but Joan knew it was important for me to know and so she shared, even though some of it hurt. Her gift helped me heal the wound that I kept scratching regarding my grandmother. She gave me peace the day she told me the whole story.
She told me that in looking back how sorry she was that no one took the time to comfort me when my my mom, her best friend, passed away. Everyone was dealing with their own loss and she admitted I got lost in the shuffle. She was ashamed that she did not help me more and asked my forgiveness. I remember we both cried that day when we talked in her small living room that was covered with fabrics to be sewn, books to be read and an old sewing machine always on the ready to purr. We hugged and we healed. Then she suggested we have an ice cream together. I think hers was butter pecan.
She visited me at my home in Massachusetts and upon entering my home and meeting my children she told me how proud my mom would be of me. No one had ever told me that. Again, what a wonderful gift she bestowed on me.
That visit she shared that my mother had a son in the Fall of 1959. The boy put up for adoption. I went on a search with what little she could remember, but have not been able to locate him. I have however, been able to
Message from Elizabeth Bouwsma Oppewal
September 30, 2013 7:56 PM
Joan was my favorite aunt - took me traveling west when I was a teenager taught me to crochet, made quilts for everyone in the family, taught me housework could wait when you're doing what you love. She was the tough straight-talking big sister my overly compliant mother needed. I've not seen her in many years but she'll live on in my heart forever.
Message from Gurujivan Kaur
September 30, 2013 7:00 PM
I spent so many Solstices with Joan, keeping watch over Gurusurya Kaur and my daughter. While everyone else was doing yoga, Joan and I would slip off with the girls for adventures. We would take the kids fun places and, while they were playing, she and I kept each other company. Joan stayed at my house in New Mexico sometimes while Awtar was at KWTC, and if she had her cup of tea and a sewing project, she was happy as can be. I will miss her intelligence, her enthusiasm for life, and her strong and generous laugh. She was a great gift to us while she was here and through her came our wonderful Awtar Kaur and Gurusurya Kaur. It has been a joy and blessing to share their journey.